This year has shown us some of the biggest cyber threats in history, with millions of consumers and businesses having been hit by the WannaCry attack, and the Uber and Equifax breaches–to name a few.

Analysts predict that information security spending will hit $86.4 billion this year, and say to expect global cybercrime damage to reach $6 trillion annually by 2021.

One analyst has dusted off his crystal ball, and has made a “Top Five” cyber-security prediction for next year:

  1. Crypto-jacking will be the top priority for cybercriminals in 2018. Crypto-jacking activity exploded towards the end of this year and a “gold rush” of activity is expected in 2018, especially as cryptocurrency values have risen exponentially.
  2. PowerShell-based attacks will increase. PowerShell-based attacks are very difficult to identify. They evade antivirus efforts easily, which makes it quite appealing to hackers.
  3. The cybercriminal underground is predicted to evolve and grow even more. As cybercriminal tools increase, and with “a lower threshold of knowledge” needed to conduct attacks, the number of cybercriminals will increase as well. The growth will be fueled even more by news media and pop culture, which publicizes the profitability of cybercrime. Ransomware itself was a $1 billion industry just last year.
  4. Security software will be targeted. Hackers are expected to “leverage and exploit security products, either directly subverting the agent on the endpoint, or intercepting and redirecting cloud traffic to achieve their means.” They will target trusted programs, and software/hardware supply chains to control devices.
  5. More hackers are expected to use worms to launch their malware. As WannaCry and Trickbot showed, worm functionality works very well in spreading malware. This technique will probably continue in 2018, especially if hackers figure out how to utilize worms without being too “noisy.”

It will be interesting to see if these predictions will come to fruition, but good educated predictions can only help us in the fight against cybercrime for 2018.